Posted by: nastypen | March 29, 2008

Truly An Honor

I type this in Starbucks People Support at 1:07am. I am waiting for Blas to save me from a truly devastating day. What better way to end such a gruesome day only to go home that the entire area has a brownout. A brownout on a hot summer’s night sounds so much fun. I whipped out my mobile and begged blas to take my fat ass in because I will die from the heat. He said ok and here I am waiting for him to whisk me away to a climate-controlled environment. It has been a horrid horrid day. But still, I smile.

I will not go into the details, but trust me, had it not been for humor, I would have cracked up today. I read somewhere that humor is anger disguised. Well, then I could be one of the angriest men. Right. Anyway, my day was so crappy that I ultimately watched a brainless film (10,000 B.C.) at Robinson’s Ermita. A guy was masturbating a few seats next to me which prompted me to change seats only having to sit next to an American old man canoodling with his “exotic” girlfriend. As the stupidity steamrolled onscreen, I was just thinking that I should be grateful despite the losses.

But here I am still wistful because it’s almost a year that I have been teaching. It has been an honor. It IS an honor to be a teacher. Much more to be a teacher at the toughest university in the country.

I smile weakly at this accomplishment. I smile weakly because the year has been exhausting. I was expecting changes, not just salary, but how I conduct my daily routine. And I’m still getting used to it.

The semester is almost over. I will send the grade sheets and class cards way before the deadline. I have officially survived two semesters.

I tell my friends that it is a good sign that I have not started screaming at one point in the year. In my two jobs before this, I was stark raving mad by the entry of the 7th month. But here I am still smiling despite that the day was a motherf*cking bellysmacker of a downer.

I made some great friends at UP Manila.  I don’t want to imagine DAC without them.  We are each other’s cheer leaders.  But we know why teaching is gratifying.

I’m fortunate to have been allowed to teach UP Manila students. Sure, I’ve had my share of students that must be expunged from the system but most of the time I am quite pleased with my students. My frustration would come from the system and not the student body. In fact, I am happiest when I am in a classroom.

Even fellow neophyte teacher MC agrees that it is a different feeling to be inside the classroom with your students. Me, I like it that I laugh every meeting. If I frown and fidget that is the beginning of the end. So far, it’s all good. I light up on the prospect of offering my students a different point of view in the subjects I love, art and history.

I think it’s a great occupation, jabbering away about the things that you love to mostly receptive students. I like sharing the things that I believe in. I appreciate that the students listen to what I have to say. Like I tell my friends, I do this because i want to infect the students a certain level of scrutiny to the arts. I want them to have a changed point of view regarding the general static look on the arts.

I do not know if I’m successful but I do know I did it and that is what matters to me.

Recently, I sat over as panelist to the graduating students’ thesis defense. I get a little misty-eyed because these students showed me how capable they are at this culmination of their university life. I wish them luck and may they appreciate both disappointment and achievement. So that was a bit of Year I.

It’s going to be the summer vacation and I didn’t take any summer load so that means I will paint. i will tweak my syllabus and search for films that I will show my classes. Here’s to Year II.



  1. i had a teacher like you once – it was a joy to hear him speak of his subject (one i actually abhorred – algebra) but i recall never having felt bored or sleepy or distracted during his class because he made me feel that the subject was one he was truly interested in, and that made me sit up and listen. if this person actually LIKED what he was teaching, then there must be something, right?

    keep on teachin’, teacher!


    by the way, do check out this link:

    it’s an art fair, it’s for free, and it’s a place where people like you get together…. see you there, maybe

  2. so glad you’re happy with your job now. i used to get worried pag nagke-kwento ka about your past jobs at baka magka-sakit ka sa stress. sana maayos na ang kuryente sa inyo!

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